A team of Volvo machines is helping to transform rocks into money at Monteagle’s sand quarry in Tennessee, USA.
Larry Anderson is what you might call a ‘sand connoisseur’. He has spent the last 40 years in the sand business, blasting it out of the ground, refining it and shipping it all over the country. People who know him say he can determine its quality just by holding it between his fingers and listening to the sound of the grains as they rub against each other.
Quality is what matters at Monteagle Sand LLC, which Anderson manages just outside of Chattanooga in East Tennessee, USA. Piles of sand emerge from a processor there for ready-mix concrete plants, asphalt plants and sewage treatment plants. Monteagle even custom manufactures sand for golf course greens.
“I’ve done this all my life. I can make you any type of sand you want,” says Anderson, standing in the shadow of his Volvo A40D articulated hauler, freshly filled with shot rock from Monteagle’s sand pit.
Meet the sand shifter
The Volvo A40D spends its days moving huge rocks and sand into Monteagle’s sand processor, where it’s crushed, screened, washed and transformed into premium sand.
The raw material is blasted out of a 35-foot deep sand pit and then dug out with a Volvo L350F wheel loader. “The ‘war horse’, that’s what I like to call it,” says Anderson. “That loader spends its days moving enormous rocks and sand, gathering them up like pebbles.”
Meanwhile, a Volvo L220F loader zips around the sand yard, loading trucks that pull into the facility, which are headed to any number of places in the surrounding states. And while that’s going on, a Volvo EC210LR excavator works to clean out any puddles of water on the property.
Turning to Volvo
Monteagle Sand turned to Volvo five years ago when it was looking to upgrade its fleet of equipment. Company owner Bill Ramsey started the company 45 years ago when he borrowed enough money to buy an old dump truck. “My wife thought I had lost my mind,” he says. But Ramsey’s small business venture proved a success and after three years he sold his dump truck and purchased another. The company grew by leaps and bounds and today Monteagle owns a sand pit that churns out product and a barge terminal beside the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.
The barge terminal is all about efficiency. The yard spends days receiving calcine – a by-product of the copper smelting business – that comes from a nearby copper facility in the Tennessee hills. More than 170 trucks per day bring in loads of the powdery material, which eventually is moved onto river barges that take it downstream to cargo ships bound for China.